It was totally unexpected that after two weeks of being back and surrounded by the sights, sounds, smells, and flavors of everything I had grown up with and known until my early thirties, I was suddenly attacked by pangs of what I can only call homesickness. I wanted to go back to my garden, my sewing room, my writing area; to wake up to the call of wild birds and go to sleep to the sound of nothing at all that you can only find in the deep country; to cook in my tiny kitchen dishes that mix rabbit with soy sauce and call it fusion; to chase my cat all over the property to get her to come home for her before-sundown curfew. I usually hate long-haul flights, but I was content settling into my Cathay Pacific airplane seat last 31 January. Final destination: Paris. Then a TGV ride to where I now type this.
Not that I don't love the Philippines. I do, and deeply; convinced that one day not very far off into the future I will go back and make myself a garden of plants with big, fat leaves and vibrantly colored tropical flowers. It's just that home is where you make your life, and right now that is--though it would have semed improbable just two years ago--here, in this country, where if I don't pay attention I still make embarrassing mistakes like say "fuck" (baiser) when I really mean to say "lower" (baisser).
More stories and photos of the homecoming trip coming this week.